Can You Straighten Damp Hair?

Written by Ramona Sinha

Picture this. You wake up super late on the day of an important presentation at the workplace. You have precisely 15 minutes to get ready and rush. You hurriedly wash your hair, hastily blow dry it, and to rush things up, sandwich the damp strands between the hot iron plates. As you hear the sizzle and notice the steam rising from your hair, you wonder if straightening your wet hair was a good idea.

It may seem reasonable to skip blow drying and jump to straightening your wet hair on such chaotic mornings, but you must avoid doing that. In this article, we have explained the reason. Scroll down to learn more.

Why Avoid Straightening Damp Hair?

Avoid straightening wet hair as it may cause long-term damage to your hair.

Water boils and turns into steam at 100°C (212°F). Most hair straighteners function in the temperature range of 185-230°C (365-446°F). The temperature of the flat iron surface is greater than the boiling point of water.

Naturally, the second the hot straightener touches your wet hair, the water turns into steam and almost explodes out of the cortex (inner layer of the hair), causing structural damage. The steam explosion damages the cortex and cuticles and leads to hair breakage, frizzy, and coarse hair (1).

Therefore, you should avoid using a straightener on wet hair. In the next section, we have shared some quick hair styling tips. You can follow these when you are in a hurry to get smooth and frizz-free hair without damage.

Tips To Quickly Style Your Hair Without Damage

1. Use A Microfiber Towel

Microfiber towels can absorb water quickly and make it easier to dry hair quickly. Squeeze your hair with the microfiber towel. Do not rub. This will reduce the blow drying time.

2. Do Not Skip The Conditioner

A conditioner moisturizes your hair and makes it soft and manageable. Well-moisturized hair does not have to cling to the water for moisture, and thus, it air-dries faster.

3. Blow Dry With Cool Air

Blow dry your hair on a cool setting as it helps seal your hair cuticles and add shine. It also prevents heat damage.

4. Wash Your Hair At Night

Another option is to wash your hair the previous night. Your hair will be completely dry by the morning and in a better condition for heat styling. This will also save time during the morning rush.

5. Skip The Hair Wash

If you do not have time for any of the tips mentioned above, it is better to skip washing your hair altogether and straighten it dry. You may also use a dry shampoo and conditioner to give your hair a quick pick-me-up.

In Conclusion

Straightening wet hair can damage the strands beyond repair, and you should avoid it at any cost. Use microfiber towels to dry your hair quickly and then blow dry it on a cool setting. If you do not have that time, skip hair washing and use a dry shampoo to keep your mane looking good throughout the day.


Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.
Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.